Home > Newest Books > Seduction (Curse of the Gods #3)

Seduction (Curse of the Gods #3)
Author:Jaymin Eve & Jane Washington

“Thanks,” I muttered. “But I still think this is weird. I’m only ever alone in the garden with you guys when you’re giving me mind-shielding lessons, and I thought we’d given up on those.”

“You were pretty useless at them,” Aros agreed, stretching his legs out and crossing them at the ankle, his posture turned to the side as he watched me devour the final slice of cheesy bread.

“Oh, hey,” I frowned, crumpling up the napkin, “with encouragement like that, it’s a wonder I didn’t succeed sooner.”

“I’m about as good at coddling as you are at doing what you’re told, sweetheart.”

I rolled my eyes, stuffing the napkin into the pocket of the pants that had become my staple daytime wear. They were some kind of heavy linen blend that moulded perfectly to my skin, since Siret had been the one to create them. There were leather patches at the knee, and hips—because apparently I needed the extra protection. My shirt was simple: a deep red that I knew now to be the colour of Chaos. Siret had started turning some of my clothes red, and I kind of liked the colour, so I didn’t say anything about the sudden change.

“Are you going to tell me why we’re here?” I prompted. “Because it isn’t to talk about how to escape the pain of the soul-link. I know we could have done that at the table—or if not the table, back in the rooms.”

“I needed to talk to you, Willa.” Aros was suddenly serious, his golden eyes tracking over my face, his hands resting limply in his lap, all of his attention on my reaction.

It was unnerving.

“What about?” I started to fidget, pulling the napkin back out of my pocket and channelling all of my focus into tearing it into very even strips. I paused halfway through my task, after Aros remained silent in answer to my question, and my head snapped up again. “This is another sex talk. Oh my gods. You five are ridiculous and I’m going to punch every single—”

“It’s not a sex talk.” He chuckled, but it sounded strained.

“You’re lying!” I tossed the half-shredded napkin at him and buried my face in my hands. “How many times does this need to happen?”

His laugh was warmer this time, and he captured my wrists, pulling my hands away from my face. “It’s not like that, okay? They just wanted me to … check in with you. After what happened with me and Coen. The way we unlocked your Chaos …”

I stilled, my body going into temporary shock. The last thing I needed was to be reminded of that whole incident in the middle of the sun-cycle, out in the open, where I couldn’t do anything about it.

“Wait just a freaking click,” I demanded, pulling my wrists free and jumping to my feet so that I could look down on him—a move which worked on dwellers and sols, but apparently not Aros. He was still level with me, even with me standing and him sitting.

“It’s not what you think!” he held up his hands, attempting to pacify me.

I hadn’t actually formed any thoughts about why we were in the garden; I’d jumped into action before the thought had a chance to solidify in my mind. Maybe this was my chance to get some more information.

“Oh, really?” I planted my hands against his chest and quickly stepped either side of his legs before he could stop me. I pulled my legs together, trapping his thighs between mine, and quickly pushed my hands along his shoulders, linking my fingers together behind his neck so that he wouldn’t be able to feel them shaking. “You didn’t bring me here to have this talk so that we wouldn’t have to have it back in the room? Where I’d do something … like this?”

The gold in his eyes was flashing to dark bronze, and his hands had moved to the bench, curling around the edges, his knuckles turning white. He wasn’t allowed to touch me. That was interesting. The others must have made him promise.

“Please don’t push this right now, Willa. I know you’re not a damn baby. I know you don’t need this talk. The others fucking insisted.”

“They think you and Coen … tricked me into it?” I asked, not budging in my stance, though my eyes were now narrowed on his in suspicion.

He smiled, but the tension was back in his expression, and rapidly spreading to the rest of his body.

“They didn’t use that word,” he answered, and the hook in the corner of his mouth deepened, his teeth flashing at me. “Pushed, maybe. We did push you.”

“You did,” I echoed, getting a little lost in his eyes.

His hands moved from the bench then, like he couldn’t resist any longer. They slipped around my back, up over the curve of my spine and to my shoulders. He rested them there, his thumbs slipping down over my collarbones.

“Did you want it, Willa?”

“Want it,” I repeated.

Maybe he was hypnotising me, because all I could seem to do was repeat key words back to him. Push. Want. Push. Want. They were on repeat inside my head.

Push. “Yes.” I nodded. Want.

His fingers tightened in their grip, and he drew me closer, making a sound in the back of his throat.

“Well, now that we’ve sorted that out,” a voice announced from behind me, “why don’t we get to class?”

I attempted to pull away from Aros, but his hands tightened further, his expression going tight.

“What the hell are you doing here, Persuasion?” he growled, his eyes never leaving mine.

“We waited. You didn’t bring her back. They sent me out,” Yael replied. He sounded casual, but I knew better.

Yael always sounded casual, until the moment he decided to demand something. That moment would be as soon as Aros walked away. Which put me in a very awkward position. It put me in a position that made me want to fling Chaos at the both of them and run in the other direction.

So that’s exactly what I did.

I could feel my newly unlocked energy swirling aimlessly inside of me, and it was easy to draw on with my emotions already riled from Aros—but I had no idea where to aim it or how to aim it, and I also had no idea how it would manifest. My only choice was to hope for the best as I closed my eyes, broke quickly out of Aros’s grip, and muttered, “Chaos—”

Aros was up from the bench and before me in a fraction of a click, his hand wrapping around my mouth. He was too late. All around us, people were screaming.

“What the hell did you do?” he asked, his eyes wide.

I tried to reply, but only a muffled sound came out, because he was still trying to silence me. I tugged on his arm until he reluctantly drew it away, and then opened my mouth to reply—until another sound distracted me.

Laughter. Yael was losing it.

I glanced over Aros’s shoulder, and stillness stole through me. Yael was standing there with his book bag held over his midsection, bent over with deep, gasping laughter. He was also completely naked. I flicked my eyes back to Aros, and we both looked down at the same time.

“GODS!” I shouted, as he casually stepped back, grabbed his book bag, and covered himself.

He looked torn between laughter and shock, but I wasn’t finding anything about the current situation funny. I barely had the foresight to clutch at myself and make sure I was still clothed—which surprisingly, I was—before I was left to stand there numbly, staring at Aros’s book bag.

I had seen it all.